Top 3 Trends in Well Testing: Safety is #1

Well testing and flowback operations have evolved significantly with the US shale boom. Select’s highly trained team of flowback operators has experience in all testing situations, including high-risk environments such as high temperature, high pressure, and high concentrations of H2S. We’ve noticed 3 major trends in the industry & we’ll be kicking off a 3-part series on our blog to explore each of the following:

  1. Safety is #1
  2. Bigger Operations
  3. Regulation Drives Innovation

Onshore well testing and flowback operations are among the most dangerous in the industry, and strict safety standards are necessary. Employees are constantly at risk of exposure to high temperatures, high pressures, and high concentrations of dangerous gasses. And since well testers work closest to the well, many times they are in charge of not only their own activities, but also third party activities on location that are happening concurrently.

Credible oilfield services companies make safety a priority, not only to protect the well being of their workers, but also because it is an expectation by operators, who actively review safety records of their contractors. Specialized equipment, coupled with rigorous employee training programs, are the keys to a successful operation.

Trends in Employee Safety Measures

In our industry, rapid growth and high turnover rates can make it hard to keep highly trained staff members. Safety training for front line well testing employees is critical to developing specific skill sets. This typically includes mandatory classroom training and hands on field training. Mentorship programs also effectively enhance safety performance; looking out for the “other guy” can make people more mindful of safety issues.

Select Energy Services has a designated training facility in Brighton, Colorado where, employees complete classroom sessions. The company also has a hands-on training center where employees can get experience with equipment and trainers can even simulate flow, as if an employee were on a job site but without the risks. Additionally, Select Energy Services has an ongoing campaign that serves as a daily reminder that safety is a core value at the company. The slogan, “It Starts With Me” empowers employees with a message of ownership and accountability for safety.



TRENDS IN Equipment

Specialized equipment also contributes to safer work environments, and technology has created significant advancements. Kevlar restraints now replace metal stakes that once stabilized high-pressure flow lines. Electronic, Pneumatic, and Hydraulic valves have become commonplace, and allow for quick control of the well in the event of a problem. Personal Lower Explosive Limit (LEL) meters alert workers of the presence of toxic and corrosive gas emissions, and forward looking infrared (FLIR) cameras allow us to identify and measure the source of the emissions. FLIR cameras also allow workers to identify ice plugs or “hydrates” within the equipment. To reduce the risk of flash fire injuries, Electronic Ignition Systems are now equipped on Indirect Line Heaters, Combustors, Incinerators, and Flare Stacks.

Leading well testing companies offer state-of-the-art inventory of equipment that meets API standards to safely deliver all of the operators’ well testing requirements. They provide experienced team members who can safely and effectively operate in all testing environments, including high-risk environments such as high temperature, high pressure, and/or high concentrations of H2S (sour gas).

To learn more about well testing & flowback at Select Energy Services, download our one-pager or click here to contact an experienced member of our team. For more information about Safety at Select, click here.